Battlestar Galactica-Season 3 (2005)
Menu Animation & Audio
|Year Of Production||2005|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (5)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||
Universal Pictures Home Video
Edward James Olmos
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
'They Evolved. They look and feel human. Some are programmed to think they are human. There are many copies. And they have a plan.'
This new or 're-imagined' version of Battlestar Galactica certainly generated some debate on its release, originally as a mini-series. The reviews for the mini series and Series One can be found here. The new Battlestar Galactica is an excellent example of modern television science fiction, featuring believable and multi-dimensional characters, excellent acting, great action, interesting ethical and social dilemmas and very high production values. One extremely interesting (and surprising) point to note about this release is that we are getting it some five months before Region 1, where this season is not slated for DVD release until April 2008.
This third series opens on the Cylon-occupied New Caprica about four months after the last episode of Season 2. The human settlers are living in a situation akin to a prison camp, with Gaius Baltar as their titular president, but in reality the place is run by the Cylons. The Galactica & Pegasus (two battlestars) have had to jump away because of the Cylon base ships which arrived, due to only having skeleton crews on board. A resistance has been formed by Colonel Tigh, Chief Tyrol and Sam Anders, who in the interim has married Starbuck, who is being held against her will by the Cylons. Other married couples include Cally & Tyrol (who have a child), Lee Adama (who now commands the Pegasus) & Deanna and also Helo and Sharon Valerii the Cylon (or at least one specific copy of Sharon). Ex-President Roslin is now running a school on New Caprica.
This season sees some changes in direction for the show with more focus on interpersonal relationships both between the humans, the Cylons and between the two. Despite this there is also a lot of action and some very tense episodes involving unrest amongst the fleet. Overall, I would not consider this series to be as strong as the first two, however, it is still much better than most shows on TV currently. The final double episode certainly reveals some big developments and sets up nicely for an interesting Season 4. There is also a TV movie called Razor which has been released on DVD in the US. It follows the story of Pegasus and it seems should only be watched after viewing this season. I do not have any details of a local release at this point.
Xena fans will be pleased to see that Lucy Lawless plays a much bigger part in this series, including part of a ménage a trois with Gaius Baltar! Generally speaking, the Cylons become a bit softer in this series (although still ruthless) and much more mystical and religious. Some of the inter-Cylon relationship subplot is a bit weird, frankly and is not the strongest part of this series.
In each episode summary I won't discuss the ongoing story lines, just the specific basis for the episode to avoid spoilers. In total there are 20 episodes, each of approximately 42 minutes. The episodes are spread over five discs.
In detail, the episodes are:
One of the great strengths of this series besides what I have mentioned above is that it includes great roles for women as well as men, including the strong and skilled Starbuck, the resourceful and resilient President and the confused Boomer. This makes for a balanced series than many other action/adventure/Sci-fi television series which only seem to have women in less important roles.
I would recommend this season to fans of the show but it is not the place to start for people new to the show.
The video quality is disappointing.
The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced, which is the original aspect ratio.
The picture was reasonably clear and sharp although some scenes were affected by white bleeding which although probably intentional did effect the sharpness. There was no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was average. MPEG grain was the biggest issue with this transfer. It is present throughout and varies from light to heavy. In some scenes, the grain solidified into mild macro-blocking. At times there seemed to be brief flashes of blocking such as at 32:52 in episode 5.
The colour was very good despite being restricted by colour grading which tended to make many scenes more grey. I did notice some minor colour bleeding from time to time. Some scenes seemed a little overbright.
Aliasing and jagged edges were also present and seemed to be more prevalent in later episodes.
There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which were clear and easy to read. Some lines were slightly summarised.
I did not notice any layer changes.
The audio quality is very good.
This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s along with a English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo option encoded at 192 Kb/s. The 5.1 track is obviously superior.
Dialogue was reasonably easy to understand, although the subtitles were useful and I kept them on most of the time while watching. There was no problem with audio sync.
The score of this film by Bear McCreary is very good and features some new themes in this series.
The surround speakers were used for a lot of atmosphere but did not evidence the level of surround effects which could have been employed in a show such as this.
The subwoofer was well used for music, tensions sounds and explosions.
|Surround Channel Use|
Nothing worth mentioning.
The menu was better than previous seasons featuring action from the show.
Utterly useless crap. I do not understand why this should even be included on the local release. It is a trailer for the UK distributor of this show and their other products which is boring and annoying.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This series is due for release in Region 1 in April 2008. No details are available of the release at this point. I would expect that as in previous seasons the Region 1 will have much better extras. This release seems to be the same as Region 2.
The video quality is disappointing.
The audio quality is very good.
No extras, an advertisement for the UK distributor does NOT count.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output|
|Display||Sony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer|